Spam

Google Play policies prohibit spam, to help ensure the best experience for Android users. Please do not publish deceptive, repetitive, or irrelevant content on Google Play. Not only will it lower your app's rating and cause negative reviews, it can result in your app being suspended or your developer account terminated.

As an app developer, it is your responsibility to ensure that your apps are free from spam and conform to the Google Play policies highlighted in this document. Before you publish, make sure that you understand what is considered spam on Google Play and check your apps for violations, even those that might be inadvertent. The sections below highlight best practices and common spam examples to help you avoid the most common types of policy violations.

For more information about Google Play policies that apply to your apps and content, please see the Developer Program Policies and Developer Distribution Agreement.

Spam in App Title and Description

When you publish an app on Google Play, you should pay special attention to the app's title and description in its store listing. Those fields are important because they make your app recognizable to users, and they help to drive downloads by highlighting what's great about your app. A memorable title and compelling description are essential to effective marketing, but you should realize that these must follow Google Play policies, just as your app content must do.

Many developers unknowingly violate spam policy in their app titles and descriptions in ways that are easy to avoid. In general, you can avoid spam violations in your app title and description by following these best practices:

  • Highlight what's great about your app—Share interesting and exciting facts about your app with users. Help users understand what makes your app special.
  • Describe your app accurately—Make sure the title and description describe the app function and user experience accurately.
  • Don't use repetitive keywords—Avoid keywords that are repetitive or excessive.
  • Don't include unrelated keywords or references — Your description should not be loaded with irrelevant keywords in an attempt to manipulate ranking or relevancy.
  • Keep it brief—Keep the description succinct and straightforward. Shorter descriptions tend to give a better user experience on devices with smaller displays. Excessive length, detail, or repetition can violate spam policy.

Here's an example app title and description that follows best practices and does not violate Google Play spam policies.

Best practice: App description
App Title: Kids puzzle: Identify Turtles
App Description:

This is the perfect app to have a good time with your children. It is designed to help kids learn different species of turtles through cute pictures and amusing puzzle games.

The rules of Kids puzzle: Identify Turtles are quite simple. Have your child drag images around the screen to fit them into the shaded region. Phonics is also utilized, as a child can also tap the word below the image and hear the name pronounced.

The sections below highlight common types of policy violations in an app title and description, illustrated with variations on the best practice example.

Repetitive keywords

Your app description should not include keywords that are repetitive or excessive.

Description includes repetitive keywords
App Title: Kids puzzle: Identify Turtles
App Description:

This is the perfect app to have a good time with your children. It is designed to help kids learn different species of turtles through cute pictures and amusing puzzle games.

The rules of Kids puzzle: Identify Turtles are quite simple. Have your child drag images around the screen to fit them into the shaded region. Phonics is also utilized, as a child can also tap the word below the image and hear the name pronounced.

KEYWORDS: game, games, fun, funny, child, children, kid, kids, puzzle, puzzle games, sound, turtle, turtles, sea turtles, turtles, turtle, turtles, tortoise, tortoises, tortoise, tortoise, turtles, turtles, turtles, turtles, tortoises, tortoise

Unrelated keywords or references

The description should not be loaded with irrelevant keywords in an attempt to manipulate ranking or relevancy in Google Play search results.

For example, if your app has nothing to do with Lady Gaga, then she shouldn’t be included in your description. Also, do not add highly searched, irrelevant keywords that are unrelated to the function of the app. This is in breach of policy.

Description includes unrelated keywords or references
App Title: Kids puzzle: Identify Turtles
App Description:

This is the perfect app to have a good time with your children. It is designed to help kids learn different species of turtles through cute pictures and amusing puzzle games.

The rules of Kids puzzle: Identify Turtles are quite simple. Have your child drag images around the screen to fit them into the shaded region. Phonics is also utilized, as a child can also tap the word below the image and hear the name pronounced.

This game is as addictive as Angry Birds, more social than Facebook and Twitter, and has a soundtrack reminiscent of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

KEYWORDS: Angry Birds, Facebook, Twitter, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga

Excessive detail, references to your other apps

Your app description should avoid excessive detail and references to your other apps or products. For example, you should not list all of the details of content included in the app or its various components, as shown in the example below. Also, the description should not include any references to other apps you’ve published.

Description includes excessive detail, references to your other apps
App Title: Kids puzzle: Identify Turtles
App Description:

This is the perfect app to have a good time with your children. It is designed to help kids learn different species of turtles through cute pictures and amusing puzzle games.

The rules of Kids puzzle: Identify Turtles are quite simple. Have your child drag images around the screen to fit them into the shaded region. Phonics is also utilized, as a child can also tap the word below the image and hear the name pronounced.

Turtles included in the app: Alligator Snapping Turtle, Asian Box Turtle, Bog Turtle, Common Musk Turtle, Common Snapping Turtle, Diamondback Terrapin, Eastern Box Turtle, Eastern Mud Turtle, Eastern Painted Turtle, False Map Turtle, Florida Pond Cooter, Florida Softshell Turtle, Green Sea Turtle, Map Turtle, Matamata Ornate Box Turtle, Red-bellied Side-necked Turtle, Red-eared Slider, Smooth Softshell Turtle, Spiny Softshell Turtle, Spotted Turtle, Western Painted Turtle, Wood Turtle, Yellow-bellied Slider

If you like this app try our other free apps:
�?Fun Zoo
�?CD Guns
�?Dessert House
�?Playground
�?578 Weapons

Spam in Ratings and Reviews

Inappropriate content in a review

Ratings and reviews are benchmarks of app quality and users depend on them to be authentic and relevant. As an app developer, you should not attempt to artificially influence your app's ratings and reviews or those of your competitor, such as by posting fake ratings or reviews or including spam content in app reviews. The sections below provide guidelines for rating and reviewing apps.

So that you can stay in touch with any issues that users are having with your app, you should read through your ratings and reviews on a regular basis. If you choose to reply to reviews, make sure to keep your reply focused on the actual issues raised in the user's comments and do not ask for a higher rating.

If you see an app or developer reply that doesn’t follow these guidelines, you can report it. See Inappropriate content in comments and applications for more information.

Soliciting ratings

Fake or inappropriate ratings and reviews

To help ensure the quality of ratings and reviews, Google Play policies limit the ways that individuals can use ratings and reviews. In particular, note that it is a violation of policy to use ratings and reviews to influence the placement of any app in Google Play.

As an app developer, make sure that you follow these guidelines:

  • Don't try to manipulate ratings—Do not engage in attempts to manipulate the ratings, reviews, or ranking of your apps, either directly or indirectly, or by manipulating the ratings of your competitors. Do not attempt to artificially boost reviews, ratings, or installs through any means.
  • Don't solicit ratings through incentives—Do not offer users any incentives to rate your app, such as offering rewards of any kind or tying app functionality to rating.
  • Don't rate apps multiple times—Do not review or rate any app multiple times in an attempt to influence its placement in Google Play.
  • Don't add improper content to reviews—Do not include affiliate, coupon, game codes, email addresses, or links to websites or other apps in your reviews. If you are responding to a user review, feel free to include references to helpful resources such as a support address or FAQ page.

Soliciting ratings from users

In general, do not offer incentives for ratings. You should not offer users incentives of any kind for rating your app (or any other app) on Google Play, and you should not tie your app's functionality or content to rating in any way.

It's acceptable to ask users to rate your app without incentives, for example: "If you like this game, rate us in Google Play!" On the other hand, it's a policy violation to ask users to rate your app based on incentives, for example: "Rate this app and get 500 coins" or "Rate this app 5 stars and get you 500 coins!"

Spam in WebViews

Apps published on Google Play should provide their own content. Do not publish an app whose primary function is to reproduce or frame someone else’s website (unless you have permission).

Similarly, do not publish an app whose primary function is to drive affiliate traffic to a website. Although affiliate deals can exist where an app's primary purpose is delivering its own content or functionality, it's a violation of Google Play policies to publish an app whose primary (or only) purpose is to direct affiliate traffic to another website.

WebView spam
App Title: Kids puzzle: Desktop Browser for Turtoogle Game
Developer: AAZZZ (not affiliated with Turtoogle Inc.)
App Description:

Have you ever wanted to use the full, desktop web version of Turtoogle Game from your phone or tablet instead of the Turtoogle Game mobile app or Turtoogle Game mobile web site?

This app lets you access Turtoogle Game on your Android device in the same way as you access the game on your desktop computer, and with all the same Turtoogle Game features.

Spam from Wizards

Apps that are created by an automated tool or wizard service must not be submitted to Google Play by the operator of that service on behalf of other persons. Such tools often produce too many duplicative or low-quality apps which crowd the higher-quality apps in the Play Store.

Please be advised that apps created by an automated tool are only permissible if the app end-product complies with Google Play policies and is published in the Play Store through a developer account that is registered and owned by you.

Spam in Messaging

Your app may not send SMS, email, or other messages on behalf of the user without providing the user with the ability to confirm the content and intended recipient.

Google Play will aggressively remove applications that are found to send or modify SMS messages without user knowledge or consent.